The Three Keys to a Good Website

The Three Keys To A Good Website

Some people think that just having a good website is key to online success. But I have to ask, what constitutes a GOOD website? Beauty (or GOOD in this case) is in the hand, eye, and mind of the beholder. Let me explain.

The Hand

Your website visitors generally have two attributes… good muscle memory and short attention spans. Good muscle memory means that people have a pre-defined expectation about navigating your website. They expect pages to be labeled in a way they understand and in an order that they are used to. To learn more about this see my post on “The Microwave Effect”.

In today’s Short Attention Span Theater, you have two minutes and three clicks to get your main message across. After that, you will see a drop off in interaction or even worse, an exit from your website.

Both of these are very measurable, using a tool like Google Analytics, but how people use their hand to use their mouse or finger to navigate your website is key.

The Eye

The Internet is becoming more and more visual. Ever since Pinterest jumped into the social media mix, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have raised the bar on their visual content and interaction. So if you want to know what the bar is for your website, look at those four websites.

The days of animated gifs, moving buttons and cartoony stock art are long gone. Clean, creative and distinctive photography is the norm. Websites have to make it clear what the brand of the business is visual, through select but complimentary colors and fonts. And just using plain stock photos (like those from IStockPhoto.com) without some added creativity is rampant on small business websites. Nothing says stock art like seeing the same graphic on a competitors website. There are so many tools that let you creatively add personality to your own photos and stock art (just look what you can do with free apps like Instagram).

The Mind

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and so is your viewers’ time. It used to be the norm for every web page to read like a Manifesto for your products and services, and why your website was the De facto place to be. Then once the SEO guys got a hold of your text, these pages would become so keyword laden, they’d be rendered almost unreadable by the casual visitor.

In this short attention span theater, less is more. In Google’s eyes, the optimum amount of website content is 300 words per page. With only 300 words, each page has to be crafted for content readability first, and SEO content second.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately what matters is how your visitors and end users perceive this. Very few of us are blessed with user interface design, graphic art or Photoshop skills, and creative writing talent with SEO knowledge. Chances are, you’re excellent at one, good at two or serviceable at all of them.

Maximize your strengths, utilize your experience, but know when to ask for help in making your website successful by making users hands, eyes, and minds happy!

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